Jazz from ERIC DOLPHY
The good die young, it is said. It is also said that the really gifted
artist who dies
young gains a reputation that would have taken far longer had he lived.
There can be no question that Eric Dolphy, born in 1928, dead of
associated with diabetes in 1964, was a good human being. Indeed,
was not without his cautions and suspicions about the motives of his
called Eric "a saint".
In my own experience, Eric Dolphy greeted life as he greeted music,
inquisitiveness, generosity, and enthusiasm that was as infectious as
But his was not an enthusiasm born of innocence or naiveté. Eric was
discriminating, and selective, but he evaluated without being
with modesty and grace.
However, Dolphy's reputation has somehow not been given quite the kind
rewards one would have expected. Part of the problem, I think, had to
comparisons that were made about his work -- comparisons to Ornette
Coleman and to John
Coltrane. It wasn't that the comparisons weren't welcome -- and Eric
worked with both
men in important contexts. It is just that they weren't always very
Since this recording shows Eric in a number of settings, offers him
challenges, and shows almost all the things he could do, all the
approaches he knew to
take to improvising, it gives opportunity for some discussion of the
things he did. But
let it be said first that, matters of technique aside, any musical
here on any of
his several instruments will show you that Eric Dolphy was a man born
HALF NOTE TRIPLETS Dolphy
ODE TO CHARLIE PARKER Byard
IRON MAN Dolphy
NIGHT MUSIC Schuller
VARIANTS ON A THEME
BY THELONIOUS MONK Schuller
DONNA LEE Parker
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